News page

Finney’s Norfolk and Normandy break!    Dear dog-chums, I had a wooftastic holiday! First we went to Brancaster – amazing beaches, you can run for miles!  Then we went to Normandy with our good friends Jo and Kip, Tibetan Terrier.  I had to stay in Sara’s cabin with her on the boat and to be honest, the bed wasn’t big enough.  (What do you mean, I should’ve been on the floor?!  It was a ferry!  All bets are off!) Our gaff was awesome – our own garden was acres’ long, with a stream at the bottom.  Happy days!  And the forest walks were the best ever!  Every day, we must have done more than 5 miles, twice a day.  All quiet and peaceful, apart from a few uppity French horses and bulls..Oh, and as it was my birthday while we were there, I got an entrecote steak.  Yum, yum, yum..


After a busy, busy summer and autumn, we’re going to close from Sunday 1st November to Saturday 14th November 2015, for a rest but also to deep clean the house AND reconfigure things round here a little with the aim of giving our doggie guests yet more space! This will involve utilising a whole other room as sleeping quarters, removing crates from the day area and replacing them with a few lounge beds for daytime snoozes, in addition to the 2 dog sofas, of course!

Christmas closure 2015

We will be closing on 23rd December and opening again on 31st December 2015.  If you would like to board with us on News Year’s Eve, or New Year’s day, the price will be double the usual rate, back to normal rates on 2nd January 2016.  Be quick though.  Only 2 places left for New Year!

Keeping up to date with the dog world!

In mid-September, I was on a KCAI TOTIT course (Kennel Club Accredited Instructor course), in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.  It was an amazing weekend and I felt so lucky to have all that expert tuition.  I attended lectures and practical sessions in Behaviour (Frustration leading to Anger), Physiotherapy – fitness conditioning and training, Gundog Training for Pet Dogs,  Dog Law with Trevor Cooper and training in use of Social Media.

Bookings.  Please book early.  Even a provisional booking. As you’re my regulars, I really hate turning you away if I’m full! As you know, I am a really tiny ‘Boutique’ Dog Hotel with only 4 spaces for guests.  If you wish to board your dog for more than 5 days, I request a deposit, in advance, of £25.

The Bowhouse 2016 – Prices   Those of you who have been with me for my first 3 years of trading will know I’ve kept my prices the same for all that time, at £20 per night for boarding.

I’m afraid that as of 1st January 2016, I am going to have to introduce a small price rise, in order to keep up with rising costs.   Boarding will now cost £24 per night.  I think this still represents great value, is still cheaper than most kennels  and, I hope you agree, that we offer superior care in contrast to most home boarding competitors in the local area.   Here’s 10 reasons why we think The Bowhouse is excellent value!  

  1. No extra charge for daycare if dog is delivered in the morning and not collected until 6pm the following day – just a flat rate of £24.(If 2 dogs from the same household are boarding, it will be £42 per night). That will, of course, include 4 hour long walks. Essentially, that’s 36 hours of care for £24.
  2. If a dog is dropped off in the late afternoon, after we’ve been on walkies, I will provide a discount for late arrival on that first night of their stay.
  3. If you are retired and receiving a state pension, I’m pleased to offer you a discounted rate of £21 per night.
  4. No dogs left unsupervised, ever, or crated during the day.

5. Minimum of 2 hours’ exercise per day, with a high ratio of staff to dogs.  My staff are insured, under my Employer’s Liability insurance and they have been trained by me!

6. New for 2016 – Memory Foam mattresses for all our doggy guests!  Turn down service and liver cake on their pillows.  (The last bit was a joke!  But I do tuck them in, in winter!)

7.New for 2016 – home cooked roast turkey dinner on a Sunday for all our doggy guests. A nutritionally balanced meal. No extra charge.

8. All dog kit supplied: fresh bedding for every guest, toys, collars with my I.D attached, chews, treats, (not forgetting our homemade Lambs’ Liver cake, made weekly!), Pro-Kolin and Liquivite stocked for any upset tums, bowls, towels, shampoo, selection of brushes (including the miraculous Dyson Groom Brush!), Kongs in every size and 2 well stocked First Aid kits.

9. All doggy guests assessed to check they are sociable and safe to board with other dogs!

10. No un-neutered adult male dogs accepted for boarding.

Friends, colleagues & staff news. Lyn Kelly, my dear friend and colleague, is going from strength to strength in her Dog Walking Business, ‘Diamond Dogs’. Similarly to me, Lyn offers top quality care by keeping the number of dogs she walks at a time to a sensible, low number and she’s made great progress training and behaviour-wise with some disadvantaged dogs she walks, such as one poor little deaf spaniel girl.  Lyn is contactable on 07717291920

 Fabulous fresh treats!  My friend, Jenny Fowler, has started up her own superior, fresh, deli-style dog treats business, called ‘Here Boy! Healthy Hound Treats’.   The flavours, range and quality are amazing. Most of the range is organic and all of it is made with human grade ingredients. I would say their appeal easily equals that of Liver Cake.  Some flavours include Courgette & Parmesan, Rosemary & Pear, Blueberry & Basil (Finn’s favourite to date!) and Strawberry & Mint.  Extremely good value and well worth trying.  Look them up on Facebook, or contact Jenny on, or ring 07963 111433.   Jenny is properly licensed and insured, and she’s local.  Please support her!

Molly Tupper is the newest addition to my team, and has been working as my part-time, casual assistant since June.  Molly achieved a Distinction * in her Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Sparsholt College this summer.   Molly’s doing a great job and your dogs all love her! 

Respect the Water

Jacqui Hutchins has asked me to let your know about the RNLI’s campaign ‘Respect the Water’ to ensure the safety of dogs and their handlers around the coast. Always on keep your dog on the lead when walking close to cliff edges or rivers.  If they fall, do not go after them. Instead, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Don’t go after your dog, if your dog swims out too far.  Move to a place they can get to safely and call them. Most will get back by themselves.  But if you’re worried, call 999 for the coastguard. Also, the same applies if your dog gets stuck in mud, don’t go after it. More info at

Kennel Cough.

I used to think the vaccination wasn’t really essential for all but elderly or unwell dogs – given that it cannot possibly protect against all strains of kennel cough; a little like the ‘flu jab.  However, I am revising that view after the autumn outbreak of the dreaded kennel cough in Portsmouth.  My vaccinated dogs did not come down with it!  So it seems to me like money well spent, at least it was, this year.  If you want to boost your dog’s immune system, a daily dose of Salmon Oil is said to help.   Brands include ‘Pooch and Mutt’ ‘CSJ’ and ‘Beaphar.’  It also gives them a gorgeous glossy coat.  My Finnbarr must get a dozen compliments a week!

Seasonal hazards!

Be careful with your dog around all the mince pies, Christmas Cake and Christmas pudding – dried fruit is toxic to dogs.  Chocolate is toxic too – even in quite small quantities and dark chocolate is particularly dangerous.   If your dog manages to steal and scoff any of the above, please get it to a vet ASAP as it will probably need vomiting to be induced by means of an injection.

Dogs like a hot meal as much as we do and I know lots of people prepare their dog a Xmas dinner.  Broccoli and sprouts aren’t good for dogs, though.   And while one little cocktail sausage wrapped in bacon won’t hurt your dog, keep it at just one because of the very high salt content.  Same goes for stuffing and for potatoes prepared with salt or salty butter.

Finnbarr’s progress

Finney was back at SCVS in January, for the follow-up xrays to check on his hip replacement.  I’m really thrilled to report that his new hip is looking great, also the other hip is not doing too badly, so no further action needed this year!  Finn’s back at his Competitive Obedience Training, now!

Christmas Closure 2014

We’re closing for Christmas and New Year.  I can recommend a couple of good companies who are open over Christmas ,so get in touch if you need that information.  We are closed for Boarders on 19th December and closed for Walkies from 21st December.

We re-open on Saturday 3rd January but there will be no walkies service on Monday 5th of January as my dog, Finnbarr has to go back to SCVS, the specialist vet at Ringwood, for the Xrays which follow up his hip replacement operation.  Fingers crossed, everyone!

Getting in touch

Where possible, please would you email or text me?  I am often out and about on walkies, or driving, you see.  This way, your message gets my proper full attention when I am home. Thank you.

Notice of Holiday closure

We will be closed from Monday 3rd November till Sunday 9th November 2014.

May Update

Finney’s got the all-clear from the vet!  He’s allowed off lead.  He’s currently wearing the biggest grin I’ve ever seen.  Limited amount of chasing balls and no obedience training till July, just to be safe but according to Finn, the world IS a good and happy place.


We are closed from 31st May to 9th June.

Easter update on 13.4.12  Finnbarr’s making great progress: the physio says she can see he is now weight-bearing on his operated hip side much more and his muscles are strengthening/coming back.  Words can’t really describe the relief we felt on hearing that! Finn will be able to have what will hopefully be his last set of x-rays, this week or next.